Key Word for Illiard

Topics: Achilles, Trojan War, Homer Pages: 7 (2327 words) Published: December 13, 2012
Question @ Ans:
1. What is the role of women in The Iliad? Does the poem contain any strong female characters, or do the acts and deeds of males dominate the work? The Iliad certainly contains strong female characters. Athena and Hera rank among the most powerful forces in the book. Even the other male gods cannot stand up to them, and Ares, supposedly the god of war, must cede to Athena’s superior might on two occasions. Moreover, Athena and Hera are more than just assertive and forceful. They are cunning, quick-witted, and sharp-tongued. By using her womanly assets and a little trickery, Hera incapacitates even Zeus, the king of gods and men. In the mortal sphere, however, The Iliad has little to offer in the way of strong female figures. Very few women enter the story at all, and the women who do appear usually fall into one of two categories: property, such as Chryseis and Briseis, or interlocutors for male characters, such as Helen and Andromache. Homer uses Helen to reveal the cowardly underside of Paris’s character and to spotlight the Achaean commanders when she describes them to Priam on the Trojan ramparts. Andromache helps to make Hector a sympathetic character and provides the stimulus for his speech in Book 6 about the fate of Troy. Thus, the significance of both women lies not in themselves but in the ways they illuminate the men around them. The two may seem to be important characters because of the high status they enjoy relative to other women, but compared to The Iliad’s warriors they are little more than props. 2. What role does fate play in the emotional and psychological effect of The Iliad? Why does Homer make his characters aware of their impending dooms? Homer’s original audience would already have been intimately familiar with the story The Iliad tells. Making his characters cognizant of their fates merely puts them on par with the epic’s audience. In deciding to make his characters knowledgeable about their own futures, he loses the effect of dramatic irony, in which the audience watches characters stumble toward ends that it alone knows in advance. But Homer doesn’t sacrifice drama; in fact, this technique renders the characters more compelling. They do not fall to ruin out of ignorance, but instead become tragic figures who go knowingly to their doom because they have no real choice. In the case of Hector and Achilles, their willing submission to a fate they recognize but cannot evade renders them not only tragic but emphatically heroic Key Facts

full title  ·  The Iliad
author  · Homer
type of work  · Poem
genre · Epic
language  · Ancient Greek
time and place written  · Unknown, but probably mainland Greece, around 750 b.c. date of first publication  · Unknown
publisher  · Unknown
narrator  · The poet, who declares himself to be the medium through which one or many of the Muses speak point of view  · The narrator speaks in the third person. An omniscient narrator (he has access to every character’s mind), he frequently gives insight into the thoughts and feelings of even minor characters, gods and mortals alike. tone  · Awe-inspired, ironic, lamenting, pitying

tense  · Past
setting (time)  · Bronze Age (around the twelfth or thirteenth century b.c.); The Iliad begins nine years after the start of the Trojan War setting (place)  · Troy (a city in what is now northwestern Turkey) and its immediate environs protagonist  · Achilles

major conflict  · Agamemnon’s demand for Achilles’ war prize, the maiden Briseis, wounds Achilles’ pride; Achilles’ consequent refusal to fight causes the Achaeans to suffer greatly in their battle against the Trojans. rising action  · Hector’s assault on the Achaean ships; the return of Patroclus to combat; the death of Patroclus climax  · Achilles’ return to combat turns the tide against the Trojans once and for all and ensures the fated fall of Troy to which the poet has alluded throughout the poem. falling action  · The retreat of the Trojan army;...
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